Number of Teens Working for the Drug Cartels

in Substance Abuse, Transnational Crime

Border security agents in the United States have seen an increase in the number of teenagers transporting methamphetamine from Mexico into the US.

Back in 2009, security services arrested 176 minors under the age of 18 for entering California border crossing with marijuana. There were 5 arrests for methamphetamine.

In 2010, the arrests for marijuana smuggling decreased to 61 minors, with an increase to 27 minors for meth.

By 2011, meth overtook marijuana arrests with 40 arrests compared to 34 marijuana arrests. The trend continued in 2012 with 59 meth arrests and 14 arrests.

The 2013 fiscal year saw the largest gap between the two, with 75 meth arrests compared to 17 marijuana arrests.

Out of all drug-related arrests at US entry points, minors account for 5 percent of those arrests.

Intelligence collected by federal officials show that the Mexican drug cartels pay children $50 to $100 or each load that they carry across the border. The children, some as young as 12 years old, generally do not have  a criminal record and do not abuse drugs.

(More payments from illegal jobs.)

Source:¬† Sandra Dibble, “More Teens SMuggling Meth,” San Diego Union-Tribue, December 2, 2013.

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